Sumner PAINE

United States of America
TeamUnited States of America
Olympic Medals
Games Participations1
First Olympic GamesAthens 1896
Year of Birth1868


Sumner Paine was descended from the same stock as his brother, John, which in addition to their yachtsman/father, included Robert Treat Paine, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Sumner attended Harvard briefly in the 1890s, but finished up at the University of Colorado Medical School, where he earned an M.D. He never practiced, however, leaving immediately to work in Paris as a gunsmith. When John Paine arrived in 1896 to take Sumner to Paris, Sumner immediately rounded up a stock of the best pistols he had, and 3,500 rounds of ammunition-more than enough, as they used up only 96 rounds. In Athens, Sumner lost the military pistol event to his brother, but with John not entering the free pistol match, Sumner won easily.

In 1901, Paine went home and found his wife in bed with his daughter’s music teacher. Paine shot at him four times, each time missing. He was jailed and charged with assault until the police realized he had to have missed on purpose, and he was released. Paine died early, at age 35, due to pneumonia.

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